Detection of Algal Blooms and Aquatic Macrophytes

By Tommy Jordan, Sergio Bernardes, Marguerite Madden and Deepak Mishra 

Lakes and other water reservoirs may be periodically affected by an increase in algae population, which can reduce water quality and affect reservoir use and associated services. This research uses remote sensing and water samples to investigate early detection of algae blooms, including verifying the relationships between water chemistry and water spectral response as seen by orbital systems. The goals of this study involve:

  • detect early signs of algal bloom by identifying changes in water spectral response associated with algal growth
  • identify the extent of areas affect by algal bloom
  • understand and map environmental conditions leading to algal bloom

The investigation also considers aquatic macrophytes (e.g., Hydrilla verticillata) which can also grow in these reservoirs, affecting their function and services, dislodging other aquatic species and potentially contributing to the occurrence of algal bloom.